It's never a good thing when Kobe Bryant looks uncomfortable, given his remarkable tolerance for pain. That was the case Wednesday night as Bryant met the media after the Lakers beat Charlotte 99-97.
Near the end of the first half, Lamar Odom came down on Bryant's already tender left ankle, causing considerable pain and sending 24 into the locker room ahead of his mates. He played in the second half, but was definitely limited to more of a facilitator's role. Phil Jackson noted Bryant's lack of lift, perhaps explaining a 2-12 shooting night (Kobe finished with only five points). Kobe's comments after the game were brief, after noting the ankle was sore coming in:
"It was just hurting today, pretty much. I tried to battle through it tonight."
"Lamar stepped on my foot as I was changing directions at the end of the first half, and that didn't help. It just made it worse. It set it back to square one."
A scary thought, no doubt. He wasn't asked to clarify whether he meant "square one" in the sense LO put the ankle back to where it was before the game, or to the moment after he injured it in Philadelphia. Based on his performance, the fact he ended his media session- already extended longer than he'd like by questions about Phil Jackson's record setting win- and the considerable limp he sported leaving the locker room, it's reasonable to suspect the latter.
As he always does, Bryant will undergo intense treatment tonight and through tomorrow's day off ahead of the Denver game Friday night. Asked if he was concerned, Kobe gave his standard reply of "No, I'll be fine." Feel free to be concerned on his behalf, though.